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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

Myths About Paediatric Critical Care

<p>​When parents have children admitted to Pediatric Critical Care units in Pakistan, they may hold various queries or misconceptions about their child&#39;s condition, treatment, or the healthcare system. It&#39;s essential for healthcare providers to address such misconceptions and provide accurate information. Some common myths that parents might have include:
</p><p>1. <strong>Only severe illnesses require admission to the Pediatric Critical Care unit.</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Reality: Critical care units admit a wide range of cases, not just the most severe. Children with complex medical needs requiring organ supportive treatment or close monitoring may be admitted for various medical reasons.
</p><p>2. <strong>The ICU is a place where patients rarely recover or survive, especially when on ventilator.</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Reality: While the ICU cares for seriously ill children, many do recover and leave the unit with improved health. ICU teams work tirelessly to provide the most efficient and effective care and support to these critically ill children. Especially when a child is kept on a mechanical ventilator, parents might fear that the child will not survive or the child has passed away, which is not necessarily true. Usually, children are kept sedated while on a ventilator to ensure they do not fight with the machine while breathing. Most children recover from their illness after a few days and are able to come out of ventilatory support. They are then discharged from the PICU and the hospital thereafter.  
</p><p>3. <strong>My child will receive better care if I constantly check on them and offer my own medical advice.</strong></p><p>Reality: While parental presence and involvement are crucial during the child&#39;s stay in the PICU, it&#39;s essential to trust the medical team&#39;s expertise and follow their recommendations. They know the best for the child and are dedicated to providing guidance to the parents and guardians of the children admitted to PICU, keeping them updated and aware about their child illness and management plan throughout.
</p><p>4. <strong>All medications and treatments must be administered immediately for a quick recovery.</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Reality: Some treatments require careful consideration, and the medical team will prioritize the most effective and safe interventions for the child&#39;s specific condition for which the children are admitted to the PICU.
</p><p>5. <strong>The more tests and procedures, the better.</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Reality: Excessive tests and procedures can sometimes be counterproductive and increase stress for the child. The medical team will order tests and procedures based on clinical need basis.
</p><p>6. <strong>It&#39;s not necessary to follow up with regular pediatric care after leaving the ICU.</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Reality: Follow-up care is crucial to monitor the child&#39;s recovery, manage any lingering issues, and ensure the child&#39;s long-term well-being. Therefore, long term follow-up with your pediatric critical care physician is really important.
</p><p>7. <strong>Children in the ICU should not be moved or touched to avoid harming them.</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Reality: Proper care includes turning, positioning, and providing necessary physical therapy to prevent complications, such as bedsores and muscle weakness. Children can be touched, and parents can be involved in their child&#39;s care along with the nurses, which is a necessary part of family-centered care.
</p><p>8. <strong>The cost of ICU care is not negotiable, and there are no financial assistance options.</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Reality: Families can often discuss financial matters with the hospital&#39;s billing department, explore insurance options, and inquire about available financial assistance programs. Welfare funds are available in AKUH, and parents can submit an application for welfare support.
</p><p>9. <strong>Asking questions or seeking a second opinion will offend the medical team.</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Reality: Healthcare providers generally appreciate involved parents who ask questions and seek clarification. It&#39;s important for parents to be informed about their child&#39;s care.
</p><p>10. <strong>Can I stay with my child in the ICU?</strong></p><p>Reality: Families can stay with their child in the PICU and are usually encouraged to take part in the care of their child, which is a part of family-centered care</p><p>Clear communication is essential to help parents better understand their child&#39;s condition and the care being provided in the Pediatric Critical Care unit. Healthcare providers can play a crucial role in dispelling misconceptions and building trust with parents during this challenging time.
</p><p>Multidisciplinary care in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) of the Aga Khan University Hospital is a collaborative approach, providing comprehensive medical treatment and support for critically ill children. This approach involves a team of healthcare professionals from various disciplines working together to address the complex needs of pediatric patients in the ICU. The goal is to optimize patient outcomes and provide the highest quality of care possible. </p><p>The multidisciplinary team in the PICU typically includes pediatric intensivists, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, physical and occupational therapists, and sometimes even psychologists, depending on the patient&#39;s needs. The team collaboratively develops and adjusts the patient&#39;s care plan based on ongoing assessments and the patient&#39;s condition.</p><p>After the patient is discharged, the PICU Clinics help in following up and ensuring that the patient has fully recovered. </p><p>If your little one or someone you know needs PICU support, contact AKUH immediately. We are here to help you!​
</p><p><em>Dr Naveed ur Rehman (Consultant) Paediatric Intensivist Section Head, Paediatric Critical Care Medicine, </em><em><em>Aga Khan University Hospital​</em></em></p>
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